Parents Pull Kids from Team After Coach’s Disparaging Remarks About “Bluffies”

Bluff LakeThousands of kids all over Stapleton are involved in many sports, including baseball, football, LAX, wrestling, basketball, swimming, and more. Stapleton kids are often on the same teams, and usually from all over Stapleton’s eight boroughs. Sometimes, Stapleton kids are even on teams with non-Stapleton kids, which historically hasn’t been a problem. Recently, classism has unfortunately made its way into Stapleton youth sports when U9 Mustang soccer coach Brad Becker was caught on tape making negative comments about Stapleton residents living in Bluff Lake. Becker had a phone call unknowingly recorded by Mustang assistant coach Jim Bolsem who lives in Eastbridge and has friends in Bluff Lake. “I don’t necessarily want some of these Bluffies (Bluff Lake Residents) traveling on the team van,” said Becker in the recording. “I don’t want to be sitting in the same area as those people, and frankly, I don’t think you (Bolsem) want to either.” Becker, an upper class North Central Park resident, continued to make remarks mocking those from Bluff Lake. “I mean, will we have to give them meal money? Will they pay their share for gas…(laughing).” Bolsem recorded the conversation as he wanted to make sure there was no misunderstanding when he decided to go public with allegations of Becker’s rampant classism. “He has been making comments all season,” said Bolsem. “And not just about the parents, sometimes about the kids. For example, he quietly mocked a player’s Adida’s Predator Accelerator shoes, which are a top five soccer shoe, but aren’t quite as nice or expensive as the Adidas Predator LZ shoe.” East Soccer League President Rob Stagemeyer said they have not decided on what action to take, but there would be severe action. “Soccer, and our league, stand for inclusion, not exclusion,” said President Stagemeyer. “We will gather information quickly, and then take swift action against Becker.” Parents of the Mustangs unified and pulled their kids from the team until action is taken against Becker. “No game is so important that we can allow the leader of this team to be identified with ugly classism,” said Mustang parent and Westerly Creek resident Amy Rudee. “I mean, 20% of the team are from Bluff Lake. These are our friends, and our kids friends and teammates. We don’t even think about what neighborhood they are from. We most certainly would not use the ‘b word.’” Parents have agreed that they will let their kids play again once Becker is removed as coach. “As soon as Beck (Becker) is gone, our kids will be back on the field,” said Mustang parent and Bluff Lake resident Timothy Hoffman. “A message needs to be sent that classism is not acceptable, no matter how rich and powerful you think you are.” SUN Member, Block Captain, and Bluff Lake resident Rachel Mercurio says Bluff Lake residents know that classism is still out there, but is not acceptable. “We are aware that classism isn’t dead,” said Mercurio. “But the message has to be that it will not be condoned, and if you are perpetuating classism, you will be punished.” East Soccer League President Stagemeyer says action could be taken as quickly as Friday, May 2nd. “Ideally, we would have this resolved by Friday, giving plenty of time for the Mustangs to be back on the field for their weekend tournament. We feel the solutions we have in play will satisfy the players and coaches, and there will be Mustang soccer on Saturday.” ]]>

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  1. Come on you guys! This is really going too far. It’s one thing to make fun but this is really just mean spirited. Our Bluff Lake neighbors paid a lot of money and chose Stapleton for its lifestyle and people — for the right reasons. You are on now piling on to effectively tell them they made the wrong choice in neighborhoods? You all need an editor!!

    1. I can see your outrage only applies to fellow Stapeltonians. Where were you during the myriad articles making fun of Aurora? Oh, I know, they don’t count to you because they’re poor AND brown. Nice.

    2. “It’s one thing to make fun but this is really just mean spirited.”
      Wait, seriously?
      If you think *this* article crosses the line from harmless “fun” to being “mean spirited,” I have a hard time imagining how tame a parody article would have to be in order for you to consider it harmless.
      I don’t think every single Stapletonion article is hilarious, but there are plenty of funny ones, from all sorts of different angles. If you think it’s out of bounds for a Stapleton-based humor website to… wait for it… *poke fun at people living in Stapleton*… I fear you’re missing the point. It’s not like the Stapletonion doesn’t still make fun of Forest City, too, in ways that could “nudge [them] toward addressing real concerns.” But if that was ALL they did, it’d get old pretty quick.

  2. Dear Oversensitive,
    First of all, tell us who you are. No hiding. I would have been happy to comment on the writers making fun of Aurora but I quit reading the Stapletonion for a long time due to the unfunny frat boy approach to finding ways to criticize residents instead of their original approach which actually nudged Forest City toward addressing real concerns.

  3. Oh Linda, sounds look you’ve been hanging around those bluffies too long. Next thing you know you’ll be going to Aurora, *gag*, to visit the Stanley Marketplace. Wait, I get it. You’re a bluffy! By “they paid a lot of money” you really were talking about yourself. Well, just stay on your side of the tracks missy or this will turn into an ugly West Side Story. Only this time it’s the East Side, and there’s gonna be a whole helluva lot more singing. Jets! *jazz hands*

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